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Moz/FF

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

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Moz/FF

Open Source Insider Mozilla plans on November 14 to start rolling out Firefox 57, a massive update that just might send many of its users scurrying for the LTS release.

First the good news. Firefox 57 is faster, quite noticeably so, thanks to improvements to what Mozilla calls Project Quantum. Quantum encompasses several smaller projects in order to bring more parallelisation and GPU offloading to Firefox. That's developer speak for using more of that really fast GPU you've got. And again, the results are noticeable (some of them have already rolled out).

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Tor Development and Bugfix

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security

Microsoft, Mozilla and BSD

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
BSD
  • Microsoft rep switches to Chrome mid-presentation because Edge kept crashing
  • 10 Fascinating Things We Learned When We Asked The World ‘How Connected Are You?’

    We inquired about people’s relationships with their connected devices, like smart TVs, Fitbits, and routers. Questions ranged from “What connected devices do you own?“ to “What is your biggest fear as we move toward a more connected future?”

    Nearly 190,000 people around the world responded. People from the tiny islands of Tuvalu to the huge landmass of China and everywhere in between. (Mozilla released the survey in six languages: English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Portuguese.)

    What we learned is fascinating. Like: People in India are more likely to own a smart appliance, whereas people in Argentina are more likely to own a smart TV. And: People everywhere are worried that a more connected future will jeopardize their privacy.

  • $275K for Creative Gigabit Projects Across the U.S.

    Mozilla is partnering with museums, universities, nonprofits, libraries, and high schools in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, and beyond.

    “We’re focusing on projects that leverage gigabit internet speeds — up to 250x average speeds — to make a positive impact in the communities we serve and across the country,” says Lindsey Frost, who directs Mozilla’s gigabit work. “Projects use augmented reality to train first responders; raise awareness about coastal erosion through virtual reality simulations; bring robotics into high school classrooms; and much more.”

    Through the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund — a partnership with the National Science Foundation and U.S. Ignite — Mozilla invests in projects that leverage lightning-fast gigabit internet connectivity to further education and workforce development.

  • pfSense 2.3.5 Security Update Addresses WPA2 KRACK Issue, Improves WebGUI

    If you haven't upgraded your pfSense BSD-based firewall to the major 2.4.x stable series yet, we have some good news for you today as the pfSense 2.3.5 security update is now available to download.

    pfSense 2.3.5 is a maintenance and bugfix release for the pfSense 2.3 stable series of the world's most trusted open source firewall, and it's here to patch a few critical security vulnerabilities, including that nasty WPA2 KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) issue.

  • OpenZFS RAID-Z Online Expansion Project Announcement

     

    The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce a collaborative project with Delphix to implement one of the most requested ZFS features, to allow RAID-Z pools to be expanded one disk at a time. We’ve combined our resources with iXsystems and Delphix to bring this project to fruition. The RAID-Z Expansion project will allow OpenZFS users to incrementally add storage to their RAID pools, one device at a time. The expansion will happen online, in the background, with zero downtime, and while maintaining the redundancy and reliability of RAID-Z.

Firefox 57 coming soon: a Quantum leap

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Red Hat
Moz/FF

Over the past year, Mozilla has been working on a series of major changes to the Firefox browser, mainly for performance and security. These changes are referred to as Project Quantum. Some improvements arrived already with no major differences for its users.

Last month the major changes landed in the developer channel. These changes mark a major deadline for how extensions work. This deadline gave third party developers a chance to look at their extensions and make changes to remain compatible. It was an important milestone date for the various Firefox add-ons. Firefox 57 marks an end to the legacy XUL based extensions. Starting with version 57, Firefox supports only a new type of extension, named WebExtension.

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Chrome and Mozilla

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Google Quietly Releases Chrome 62 to Stable Channel for Linux, Mac, and Windows

    Google quietly promoted the Chrome 62 web browser to the stable channel today for desktops, including Mac, GNU/Linux, and Microsoft Windows platforms.

  • Chrome 62 Promoted To Stable

    Google has released Chromium/Chrome 62 as the latest update to its widely-used web browser.

  • Chrome Working On JPEG Encode Accelerator With VA-API/V4L2 Support

    Landing in the Chromium browser code-base this morning is a JPEG encode accelerator interface.

  • Mozilla brings Microsoft, Google, the W3C, Samsung together to create cross-browser documentation on MDN

    Community contributions are at the core of MDN’s success. Thousands of volunteers have helped build and refine MDN over the past 12 years. In this year alone, 8,021 users made 76,203 edits, greatly increasing the scope and quality of the content. Cross-browser documentation contributions include input from writers at Google and Microsoft; Microsoft writers have made more than 5,000 edits so far in 2017. This cross-browser collaboration adds valuable content on browser compatibility and new features of the web platform. Going forward, Microsoft writers will focus their Web API documentation efforts on MDN and will redirect relevant pages from Microsoft Developer Network to MDN.

  • A Week-Long Festival for Internet Health

    Says Mark Surman, Mozilla’s Executive Director: “The Internet is layered into our lives like we never could have imagined. Access is no longer a luxury — it’s a fundamental part of 21st century life. A virus is no longer a nuisance consigned to a single terminal — it’s an existential threat that can disrupt hospitals, governments and entire cities.”

    But much of the Internet’s best nature is flourishing, too. Each day, new communities form despite members being separated by whole continents. Start-ups and artists have access to a global stage. And open-source projects put innovation and inclusion ahead of profit.

Firefox 57 - Trick or Treat?

Filed under
Moz/FF

The best way to describe Firefox 57 is too little, too late, but better later than never. In a way, it's a pointless release, because it brings us back roughly where Firefox was and should have been years ago. Only all this time in between was wasted losing user base.

WebExtensions will be the thing that makes or breaks the browser, and with insufficient quality in the available replacements for those that don't make the culling list, there will be no real incentive for people to stay around. Firefox 57 is better than earlier versions in terms of looks and performance, but that's like saying you get 50% discount on a price that is twice what it should be. Ultimately unnecessary, just like graduating from university by the age of 68. There aren't any major advantages over Chrome. This is essentially a Firefox that sucks less.

So yes, on the positive side, if you do want to continue using Firefox, version 57 makes much more sense than the previous 53 releases. It has an almost normal look, some of the sorely needed security & privacy addons are available, and it offers a passable user experience in terms of speed and responsiveness. Bottom line, I will stick with Firefox for now. As long as my extensions keep working. Take care.

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Mozilla 'Freemium' and Visual Impairment Simulator

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla might offer Freemium services in the future

    The whole idea seems to be in an early stage and it is quite possible that it won't come to fruition after careful examination. When asked what kind of services Mozilla was considering, Beard answered that the organization was exploring that. This is all the information that is available at this point in time.

  • Mozilla CEO says new Firefox browser delivers 'a big bang'

    There's another side as we start to look at products that we could potentially offer. Some of them start to look like services, exploring the freemium models. There'd be a free level always, but also some premium services offering.

  • NoCoffee: Visual Impairment Simulator

    Four years ago, on a snowy February day, Aaron Leventhal huddled in his unheated home and created a Chrome extension called NoCoffee. This extension allows users to experience web content through different lenses of visual impairments*.

Mozilla funds open source projects with half a million in grants

Filed under
Moz/FF
OSS

Mozilla has announced the latest recipients of its Open Source Support grants, totaling $539,000. The web tech company regularly helps out smaller projects, and this round in particular favored ones aimed at safety and security.

First was $194K to Ushahidi, a platform used to rapidly collect and disseminate local information to people who may need it quickly: blocked streets in a disaster area, police actions or tear gas in a protest, or voter intimidation during elections.

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Firefox 57 Benchmarks and Privacy

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Benchmarks Show Firefox 57 Quantum Doing Well, But Chrome Largely Winning

    With the hype this week around Firefox Quantum Beta with its user-interface refinements and more noticeably the performance improvements, I decided to run some benchmarks on my end with a variety of tests comparing Firefox 52 ESR, Firefox 56 stable, Firefox 57 Quantum beta, and Chrome 60. Here are those web browser benchmark results from the Linux x86-64 desktop.

  • Improving the Firefox Privacy Notice

    Back in 2014, we reorganized our privacy policies to make them simple, clear, and usable. That effort was based on simplifying the then 14-page privacy policy around a framework that retained some detail but helped users find information more quickly. We did this because of our Data Privacy Principles that offer us guardrails as we develop our products and services.

    Today I’m happy to announce another revision of our Firefox Privacy Notice, which follows our initial announcement on the topic. We continue to build our products focusing on user control and fulfilling our “no surprises” rule when it comes to privacy. We believe that in context notices with the user experience in mind make notices more understandable and actionable for users.

Software: Firefox 56, Python, and MySQL 8 Release Candidate

Filed under
Software
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 56 Released, But All Eyes Are on Firefox Quantum

    The latest update to the browser isn’t exactly packed with changes but it does include a new search function in the settings area to make it faster to find specific options or preferences.

  • Screenshots, Send Tabs and more! Today’s faster Firefox provides upgraded features for all users

    When our intrepid user research team goes into the field and observes Firefox users in the wild, they find that users have all sorts of creative solutions to do things that the browser doesn’t already do, like email links and screenshots to themselves and others, as a way to get things done.

    We want Firefox to be the absolute best way to get things done, so we stuffed a ton of new features into today’s release.

  • 3 Python web scrapers and crawlers
  • Oracle Shows Off MySQL 8 Release Candidate

    After over a year of development, open-source database is now on the path toward general availability.

    Back in September 2016, Oracle first announced the open-source MySQL 8.0.0 milestone release and has been quietly iterating and developing the next generation database ever since.

    On Sept. 25, at long last Oracle debuted the first official Release Candidate (RC) for the MySQL 8.0 release, kicking off the final stabilization period before general availability. The MySQL 8.0 release also marks a numbering leap forward, as the current generally available release is version 5.7.19. MySQL 5.7x first became generally available in 2015, after two years of development effort.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation on Value of GNU/Linux Skills

  • Jobs Report: Rapid Growth in Demand for Open-Source Tech Talent
    The need for open-source technology skills are on the rise and companies and organizations continue to increase their recruitment of open-source technology talent, while offering additional training and certification opportunities for existing staff in order to fill skills gaps, according to the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report, released today by The Linux Foundation and Dice. 87% of hiring managers report difficulty finding open-source talent, and nearly half (48%) report their organizations have begun to support open-source projects with code or other resources for the explicit reason of recruiting individuals with those software skills. After a hiatus, Linux skills are back on top as the most sought after skill with 80% of hiring managers looking for tech professionals with Linux expertise. 55% of employers are now also offering to pay for employee certifications, up from 47% in 2017 and only 34% in 2016.
  • Market value of open source skills on the up
    The demand for open source technology skills is soaring, however, 87% of hiring managers report difficulty finding open source talent, according to the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report which was released this week.
  • SD Times news digest: Linux Foundation releases open-source jobs report, Android Studio 3.2 beta and Rust 1.27
    The Linux Foundation in collaboration with Dice.com has revealed the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report. The report is designed to examine trends in open-source careers as well as find out which skills are the most in demand. Key findings included 83 percent of hiring managers believes hiring open source talent is a priority and Linux is the most in-demand open-source skill. In addition, 57 percent of hiring managers are looking for people with container skills and many organizations are starting to get more involved in open-source in order to attract developers.

GNU/Linux Servers as Buzzwords: "Cloud" and "IaaS"

  • Linux: The new frontier of enterprise in the cloud
    Well obviously, like you mentioned, we've been a Linux company for a long time. We've really seen Linux expand along the lines of a lot of the things that are happening in the enterprise. We're seeing more and more enterprise infrastructure become software centric or software defined. Red Hat's expanded their portfolio in storage, in automation with the Ansible platform. And then the really big trend lately with Linux has been Linux containers and technologies like [Google] Cooper Netties. So, we're seeing enterprises want to build new applications. We're seeing the infrastructure be more software defined. Linux ends up becoming the foundation for a lot of the things going on in enterprise IT these days.
  • Why next-generation IaaS is likely to be open source
    This is partly down to Kubernetes, which has done much to popularise container technology, helped by its association with Docker and others, which has ushered in a period of explosive innovation in the ‘container platform’ space. This is where Kubernetes stands out, and today it could hold the key to the future of IaaS.

Ubuntu: Snapcraft, Intel, AMD Patches, and Telemetry

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Snapcraft
    Canonical, the company behind operating system and Linux distribution Ubuntu, is looking to help developers package, distribute and update apps for Linux and IoT with its open-source project Snapcraft. According to Evan Dandrea, engineering manager at Canonical, Snapcraft “is a platform for publishing applications to an audience of millions of Linux users.” The project was initially created in 2014, but recently underwent rebranding efforts.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Now Certified on Select Intel NUC Mini PCs and Boards for IoT Development, LibreOffice 6.0.5 Now Available, Git 2.8 Released and More
    Canonical yesterday announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is certified on select Intel NUC Mini PCs and boards for IoT development. According to the Ubuntu blog post, this pairing "provides benefits to device manufacturers at every stage of their development journey and accelerates time to market." You can download the certified image from here. In other Canonical news, yesterday the company released a microcode firmware update for Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the Spectre vulnerability, Softpedia reports. The updated amd64-microcode packages for AMD CPUs are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), "all AMD users are urged to update their systems."
  • Canonical issues Spectre v2 fix for all Ubuntu systems with AMD chips
    JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU'D HEARD THE END of Spectre, Canonical has released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users that have AMD processors in a bid to rid of the vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were made public at the beginning of this year, affecting literally billions of devices that had been made in the past two decades.
  • A first look at desktop metrics
    We first announced our intention to ask users to provide basic, not-personally-identifiable system data back in February. Since then we have built the Ubuntu Report tool and integrated it in to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS initial setup tool. You can see an example of the data being collected on the Ubuntu Report Github page.

Most secure Linux distros in 2018

Think of a Linux distribution as a bundle of software delivered together, based on the Linux kernel - a kernel being the core of a system that connects software to hardware and vice versa – with a GNU operating system and a desktop environment, giving the user a visual way to operate the system via a graphical user interface. Linux has a reputation as being more secure than Windows and Mac OS due to a combination of factors – not all of them about the software. Firstly, although desktop Linux users are on the up, Linux environments are far less common in the grand scheme of things than Windows devices on personal computers. The Linux community also tends to be more technical. There are technical reasons too, including fundamental differences in the way the distribution architecture tends to be structured. Nevertheless over the last decade security-focused distributions started to appear, which will appeal to the privacy-conscious user who wants to avoid the worldwide state-sanctioned internet spying that the west has pioneered and where it continues to innovate. Of course, none of these will guarantee your privacy, but they're a good start. Here we list some of them. It is worth noting that security best practices are often about process rather than the technology, avoiding careless mistakes like missing patches and updates, and using your common sense about which websites you visit, what you download, and what you plug into your computer. Read more